January 2017 Festivals and Holidays


English New Year-

1stJanuary 2017(Sunday)new-year-2017

English New Year starts on 1st of January, the first day of modern Gregorian calendar also called as Western Calendar and Christian Calendar. Gregorian calendar was reformed in year 1582 to the Julian calendar and stored January 1st as a New Year Day. Gregorian calendar is widely adopted by most of the countries and celebrates January 1st as New Year Day as well as December 31st as New Year’s Eve.

 

Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti-

5thJanuary 2017(Thursday)Guru G S

Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708 C.E.) was the tenth Guru out of total 10 Sikh Gurus. He was born in Patna, Bihar on 22nd December 1666 according to Julian calendar. Julian calendar is obsolete and in present time no one uses it. Julian calendar was replaced by Gregorian calendar. According to Gregorian calendar Guru Gobind was born on 1st January 1667. Either we follow Julian or Gregorian calendar the Hindu date of birth of Guru Gobind falls on the same day. The date of birth of Guru Gobind Singh has no controversy which is often found with other Gurus and Saints.

Nanakshahi calendar which was developed recently fixed the Guru Gobind Singh’s Jayanti on 6thJanuary and later revised it to 5th January. This date has sparked on-going controversy and it seems that currently Hindu calendar is getting used to fix the Jayanti of Guru Gobind Singh similar to Jayanti of Guru Nanak which is always fixed on Kartik Purnima according to Hindu calendar.

Shri Tailang Swami Jayanti-

8thJanuary 2017(Sunday)Swami

Tailang Swami (1607-1887 C.E.) was a great Hindu Yogi who has divine powers. For most of his life Tailang Swami stayed in Varanasi, India. It is believed that Tailang Swami was an incarnation of Lord Shiva due to which few disciples referred him as The Walking Shiva of Varanasi. Tailang Swami lived a very long life of around 280 years. Tailang Swami was also known as Telang Swami and Trailanga Swami.

Tailang Swami was born in Holia at Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh. His parents, the devotees of Lord Shiva, named him Shivarama. His parents died when he was 40 years old. After death of his parents he renounced the society and did spiritual practice for twenty years. Later he went on a pilgrimage. It is believed that he reached Prayag in 1733 and got settled down in Varanasi in the year 1737.

His birth anniversary is celebrated as per Hindu lunar calendar and falls on Ekadashi Tithi in the month of Pausha during Shukla Paksha. The day of his birth anniversary coincides with Pausha Putrada Ekadashi.

 

Lohri-

          13thJanuary 2017(Friday)
lohari

 

Lohri is a popular festival celebrated by Punjabi people of Sikh faith as well as Hindu faith. Lohri is mainly Sikh festival however the day of Lohri is decided based on Hindu calendar. Lohri is closely linked to Hindu festival Makara Sankranti and it is celebrated one day before of that.

 
Thai Pongal-
14thJanuary 2017(Saturday)Pongal

Pongal is a Hindu festival which is observed by people of Tamil Nadu. Pongal is a four days festival and the most important day of Pongal is known as Thai Pongal. Thai Pongal which is the second day of the four days festivity is also celebrated as Sankranti. The same day is observed as Makar Sankranti in North Indian states when people take holy dip in river Ganges. The day before Thai Pongal is known as Bogi Pandigai. On this day people clean their homes and light bonfire to discard unused items. In Punjab the same day is celebrated as Lohri by Sikh community.

Thai Pongal day is celebrated by boiling freshly harvested rice with fresh milk and jaggery in a new clay pot. While boiling the concoction, people let the milk spill over the pot as an auspicious sign of material abundance and prosperity. Later the concoction of rice, milk and jaggery, known as Pongal, is topped with brown sugar, Ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. Freshly cooked Pongal is first offered to the Sun God as a gratitude for good harvesting and later served on banana leaves to the people present in the home for the ceremony. Traditionally Pongal is cooked at sunrise at an open place. Thai Pongal is the first day of Thai month according to Tamil Solar Calendar. Thai is the tenth solar month in Tamil Calendar. Thai Masam is known as Makar in other Hindu calendars. Next day of Thai Pongal is known as Mattu Pongal. Cattles are decorated and worshipped on Mattu Pongal day.The last and final day of Pongal is known as Kaanum Pongal. It is time for family reunions in Tamil Nadu

Makar Sankranti or Sankranthi-
14thJanuary 2017(Saturday)saankranti

The time between Makar Sankranti and 40 Ghatis (roughly 16 hours for Indian locations if we consider 1 Ghati duration as 24 minutes) from the time of Makar Sankranti is considered good for auspicious work. This duration of forty Ghatis is known as Punya Kaal. Sankranti activities, like taking bath, offering Naivedhya (food offered to deity) to Lord Surya, offering charity or Dakshina, performing Shraddha rituals and breaking fast or Parana, should be done during Punya Kaal.

If Makar Sankranti happens after Sunset then all Punya Kaal activities are postponed till next day Sunrise. Hence all Punya Kaal activities should be done in day time. In Tamil Nadu Makar Sankranti or Sankranthi is known as Pongal. In Gujarat and Rajasthan Makar Sankranti is known as Uttarayana. In Haryana and Punjab Makar Sankranti is known as Maghi. Sankranti Punya Kaal is different for all cities. Hence it is important to set your location first before noting down Sankranti Muhurta.

 Swami Vivekananda Jayanti-

19thJanuary 2017(Thursday)SWami

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902 C.E.) was a Hindu monk and a patriotic saint of India. According to English calendar he was born on 12th January 1863 into an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta. However his birthday is celebrated according to Hindu calendar and this day is known as Swami Vivekananda Jayanti. Vivekananda was born on Krishna Paksha Saptami after seven days of Paush Purnima. As Jayanti day is decided based on Hindu calendar, it is not fixed on Gregorian calendar like Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti and Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti which are celebrated on fixed day on Gregorian calendar.

However Indian government has decided to observe Swami Vivekananda’s Gregorian date of birth as National Youth Day. Hence National Youth Day of India is celebrated each year on 12th January since 1985. Swami Vivekananda was modern Hindu saint and follower of Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism. He was disciple of Ramakrishna. He founded Belur Math, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.

 
Subhas Chandra Bose Jayanti-
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23rdJanuary 2017(Monday)

Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945 C.E.) was born on 23rd January 1897 in Cuttack, Orissa. He was famously known as Netaji. Netaji was one of the prominent leaders who struggled for India’s Independence from British rule. He is most famously known for building Indian National Army with Japanese support.

 
Republic Day-
26thJanuary 2017(Thursday)happy-republic-day
India commemorates the day of 26th January as Republic Day. In 1950 on the very same day Constitution of India came into force. It is the same day when Declaration of Independence was promulgated by the Indian National Congress and this day were chosen to honor that event.

It is one of the three national holidays of India, including Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti. Being a gazetted holiday all government offices and most businesses are closed on Republic Day. The main parade takes place in the national capital New Delhi, at the Rajpath before the president who unfurls the national flag. Celebrations are also held in state capitals where the Governor of the state unfurls the national flag.


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